PETER Clarke, the chief executive officer of embattled hedge fund firm Man Group is to step down, bowing to growing shareholder anger over the slow progress of the company’s revival plan.
Mr Clarke will hand over in February to chief operating officer and former GLG boss Emmanuel “Manny” Roman, the group said on Monday.
The position of Mr Clarke, a 20-year company veteran who has headed the firm since 2007, had become untenable following two terrible years for the company characterised by poor performance and client losses. Clients pulled money from Man – once the FTSE 100-listed poster child for the hedge fund industry – for a fifth straight quarter, the firm said in October.
Meanwhile its flagship fund AHL, which generates the bulk of the firm’s revenues, has remained stuck below its so-called high-water mark, the level above which it can earn lucrative performance fees.
Investors welcomed Mr Clarke’s departure with shares trading sharply higher.
Since he took over as chief executive, Man shares have lost 85 per cent of their value.
Shareholders will now be looking for signs that the raft of changes already announced – cutting costs, launching new funds and naming Jonathan Sorrell as finance director – is starting to work.
“I think it does go back to a fresh approach.
“They’ve got the infrastructure and the cost base of a much bigger firm and Manny should be much more focused on cost savings,” said Stuart Duncan, analyst at Peel Hunt.
Tough-talking Mr Roman, who joined Man in 2010 after its takeover of hedge fund GLG, was widely touted as a successor to Mr Clarke.